AEC Office


The decisions of the Council and the General Assembly are implemented by the AEC Office, which is located at Keltenlaan / Avenue des Celtes 20, 1040 Brussels, Belgium. The AEC Office consists of a core team of Chief Executive, General Manager/Deputy CEO, Events and Project Manager and Office Manager, which is supplemented during major projects by dedicated project staff. The AEC Office also regularly welcomes student interns, who gain valuable experience during their placements as well as making an essential contribution to the smooth running of the Association.  

Stefan Gies

Chief Executive

Stefan Gies has been the Chief Executive of the AEC since September 2015. His work focuses on networking with other organisations active in the fields of music, art and higher education at European and international level, as well as on lobbying the institutions of the European Commission and the European Parliament. The key topics he is currently working on include: campaigning for the recognition of the specific features of artistic education; ensuring the long-term preservation of adequate framework conditions to maintain a musical life and cultural offers; promotion of musical education at all levels and according to diverse needs; establishing artistic research and facilitating cross-border mobility.

Stefan was born in 1954 in Landau in southwestern Germany. He studied viola, composition, musicology and music education at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, but also performed in the fields of rock and jazz music. He worked as a classroom and instrumental teacher and got his doctorate degree in music pedagogy. Stefan does research and publishes on theories of musical Bildung and the history and constitution of the institutions. Stefan can look back on an academic career spanning more than 30 years as a scholar, professor of music education and principal at German Higher Music Education institutions.

Stefan has been actively involved in AEC since 2007. Before taking on the position as its CEO, he took part in: the 'Polifonia' working group on accreditation in higher music education (2007-2010); in the AEC Quality Enhancement Committee (2011-2014) and he also chaired the working group 'Evaluation for Enhancement' within the FULL SCORE project (2014-2017). He is responsible for running the AEC's current Creative Europe project 'Strengthening Music in Society' (SMS). Stefan can be reached via

Linda Messas

General Manager/Deputy CEO

Linda joined the AEC in March 2007 as project administrator of the 'Accreditation in European Higher Music Education' project.  She coordinated the ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ (2007-2010) and the AEC Institutional and Programme Review Scheme. Linda is General Manager since January 2011 and supports the CEO in managing the AEC Office. Linda also works for the new external evaluation body MusiQuE - Music Quality Enhancement. Linda has a Master in European Politics from the Institute of Political Sciences in Strasbourg. She is French, speaks English and some German and works hard on her Dutch. She can be reached via

Sara Primiterra

Events and Project Manager

Sara has been part of the AEC Team since 2009. She coordinated the European Students Chamber Orchestra Tour 2011 in the framework of the project "Widening Participation on the Road to Membership" and in September 2010 she became the Office Manager of the AEC. Since November 2011 Sara has been the Events Manager of the AEC, being in charge of the organization of the AEC Annual Congress, the International Relations Coordinator Annual Meeting and the thematic working groups and platforms (Pop and Jazz, Early Music and Artistic Research). She also represents the AEC at international  meetings. Since 2016 she also got involved with project management at AEC: she is the Project Manager of the European Online Application System (EASY) and she represents the AEC in the management working group of Erasmus Strategic Partnership and Creative Europe projects where the AEC is involved as communication and dissemination partner. Sara has got a Master of Science in Economics and Management of Arts and Culture at Bocconi Business University in Milan with a final dissertation on conservatories’ international relations. She was also trained as a musician and she got a violin degree at Conservatorio di Novara (Italy). Sara is Italian, speaks  English and French and has some knowledge of Spanish and Dutch. Her main fields of interest are: management of cultural and educational institutions, event management, mobility and international relations. She can be reached via  

Barbara Lalić 

Office and Project Coordinator

 Barbara joined the AEC team in September 2018 first as an intern and came back as Office and Project Coordinator in August 2020. She studied Music Pedagogy at the University of Zagreb and has been active in the field of performing traditional music in ensembles, both vocal and instrumental. At AEC she is resposible for supporting the members and the Council, as well as project coordination. Barbara is Croatian, speaks English and is working on her French. She can be reached via:

Paulina Gut

Project and Events Coordinator
Paulina joined the AEC team in September 2017 first as an intern and later as Project, Communication and Events Coordinator. Paulina also contributes as Administrative Officer to the daily operation of MusiQuE- Music Quality Enhancement, the independent European evaluation body for Higher Music Education. She graduated from the Music Academy of Cracow (Poland) with a Master's Degree in Arts (piano performance). She also hold a Music Teaching Diploma obtained at Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles. She is dedicated to culture as an active professional musician and music teacher. Paulina also has a broad experience of working in the field of music including management, production and communication. She worked as a trainee with the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and Brussels Philharmonic. She is currently studying the Cultural Management program at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Paulina is Polish and speaks French, English, Italian and improving her Dutch. She can be reached via
Chiara Conciatori
Communication Officer

Chiara joined the AEC team in January 2019 as an intern, and returned as Communication Officer in January 2020 after an internship at MusiQuE- Music Quality Enhancement, the independent European evaluation body for Higher Music Education. In November 2018, she graduated from Uninettuno University in Rome with a degree in Communication, Media and Advertising. At AEC she works on the internal and external communication activities, managing the AEC website and social media channels. Chiara is Italian, speaks English and is working on her French and Spanish. She can be reached via

Alfonso Guerra

Membership and Finance Coordinator

Alfonso joined the AEC team in July 2019, first as an intern and later as Membership and Finance Coordinator. He graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (CrB) with a Master's Degree in Music composition. Besides working at AEC, he is Assistant professor of Harmony at the CrB and Associated member at the Alain Van Kerckhoven Éditeur publishing house. He plays the piano since he was a child, and currently composes contemporary classical music for different projects. His main fields of interest are music composition, music engraving and project management. Alfonso is Spanish, speaks English and French and is working on his Portuguese. He can be reached via

Gabriele Rosana
Advocacy Officer (free-lance)
Freelance Journalist and former Parliamentary Assistant to Silvia Costa (Member of the European Parliament & Chair of the Education and Culture Committee in 2014-2017), Gabriele supports the Office Team on a free-lance basis on policy and advocacy matters.


Francesco Spina 
AEC intern

Francesco joined the AEC team in January 2021 as an intern in project and membership management. He is currently studying Orchestral conducting at Conservatorio "G. B. Martini" in Bologna and holds a Bachelor in Management and marketing from Bologna University. Since he was a child, he played the piano, the cello and the guitar, singing in choirs and studying composition in Conservatorio. In 2019 he's been elected Secretary of the Italian Music Students' Union. Francesco speaks Italian, English and French and is working on his German and Spanish. He can be reached via

Beatriz Laborda

AEC Intern

Beatriz joined the AEC team in February 2021 as an intern in Communication and Advocacy. She graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (KCA) with a Master’s Degree in Music (cello performance) and she is currently finishing a Master in Management at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Her interest in these two disciplines has led her to be a founding member of several musical projects, where she is actively involved in the artistic and in the coordination side. She speaks Spanish and English and is working on her Dutch. She can be reached via